THE newly elected Keetmanshoop Junior Council has pledged to be a catalyst of social innovation in their efforts to tackle challenges such as unemployment, crime and municipal service delivery.
The junior councillors plan to initiate projects and activities that would offer solutions to and create awareness of unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse, entertainment, HIV-AIDS and environmental issues.
They also plan to undertake activities aimed at marketing Keetmanshoop nationally and internationally.
“We’re here to survive, and to thrive so that we right the wrongs,” Junior Mayor Dien Nythen, a pupil at the PK de Villiers High School, pledged on behalf of his 11-member team during the inauguration of the new council on Thursday.
The other council members are Anja Becker (Keetmanshoop Private School), Hashaenanye Lazarus (Keetmanshoop Junior Secondary School), Bernard Chunga (Suiderlig High School), Christian de Klerk (Keetmanshoop Private School), Ivan Gregorius Eiman (out-of-school youth), Andy Esterhuizen (JA Nel Secondary School), Valencia Garises (Keetmanshoop Junior Secondary School), Zelda Haksteen (out-of-school youth), Olivia Junias (JA Nel Senior Secondary School) and Nazley Losper (Suiderlig High School).
The new council will be in office for two years.
Officiating at the inauguration, Lucia Basson, special advisor to Karas Governor Bernadus Swartbooi, stressed that collective efforts were needed to help young people involved in social evils and crime.
Basson called on the new council to “make a difference” in the lives of the youth.
She also urged the new council to advocate for parents’ involvement in their children’s education, and to address teenage pregnancy.
Recent statistics revealed by Karas Education Director /Awebahe //Hoëseb indicated that during the first term of this year, 25 pregnancies were reported in the Karas Region.
The PK de Villiers High School and Suiderlig High School in Keetmanshoop each reported four pregnancies during the first term of 2012, according to the statistics.
In 2011, 11 pregnancies were reported during the first term, eight in the second term and 44 in the third term.